Guest post from Gini Dietrich

It’s likely not going to come as a surprise to you to read nearly everyone knows how to click past banner ads, watch the required five seconds of an ad before skipping it to go on to a video, clicking out of pop-up ads, and fast forwarding through commercials during television programs.
Combine that with the fact that we’re spending more and more time on the social networks and 2013 proves to be an interesting time for marketers and communicators.

Native advertising is a term you’re going to hear a lot about this next year, and it’s going to affect how you create content.

You already see some of this through Promoted Posts on Facebook and Sponsored Tweets on Twitter. And the lines between advertising, communications, and marketing blurs even more.

Examples of Native Advertising

Native advertising integrates high-quality content (what I’ll refer to as pull marketing vs. push marketing of the traditional mediums) into the organic experience of a given platform.

This means the content is so complementary to the user’s experience on the platform, it doesn’t interrupt the flow. People are willing to comment, like, and share because it feels like it belongs there.

For instance, Jay Peak, a ski resort in Northern Vermont, asks skiers to tag Instagram photos that best exemplify what they love about the mountain. It’s user-generated, visually compelling content.


Of course, there has to be a separate strategy for native ads, themselves, but as communicators we have to think about how we create content that integrates with our brother disciplines.

Implement Native Advertising

To implement native advertising, we have to think about a few things:

  • Do our users trust us?
  • Does the brand have integrity online? 
  • Who is the best person (or team) to implement this? 
  • Do we need journalists, designers, and media buyers on our communications team? 
  • Should we outsource some of the content creation in order to keep things fresh consistently?

Too often, organizations use the social networks to push their messages out, like they’re accustomed to doing through traditional methods. Native advertising requires a complete shift in thinking and it won’t be easy…particularly with those clients or bosses who are used to leaving messages in the marketplace for a year or more.

Today you can’t leave a message out there for five minutes, let alone an entire year. Some of you may already be doing some education around how to be social and engaging on the social networks.

Take that a step further in 2013 and implement native advertising into your communications programs.

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communication firm. She is the lead blogger at PR and marketing blog, Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing In the Round, and co-host of Inside PR, a weekly podcast about communications and social media. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or LinkedIn.